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7 Cost-Free Ways to Lead a Happier, Simpler Lifestyle

At the time of season where stress gets the best of us, this article offers insights to live a happier, simpler lifestyle.

Every day, there’s usually something that stresses you out, be it the kids, money or your monotonous job. During the holiday season, it seems this stress goes completely haywire, creating Scrooges and Grinches left and right.

Yesterday, while having lunch at the Prudential Center, I noticed hundreds of businessmen, mothers, and sales clerks running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

What is going on?

At a time where money, family and stress tend to get the best of us, let’s all take a step back and remember what the holiday season is all about. Here are 7 simply ways you can lead a happier, simpler lifestyle right now and get this…they are absolutely free (or at least cost less than your Starbuck’s latte).

1. Skip the workout you’re totally dreading, and instead go on a winter stroll with a loved one.Along the way, you can window shop, browse some new restaurants in the neighborhood and spend some quality time together. You’ll sweat it out, get some fresh air and simply feel better overall.

2. Save some money, and make homemade gifts for friends and family this year. Not only will your wallet be happier, but your gifts will have an extra special made-with-love touch, that no piece of technology or gift card can bring. I found some great ideas on Pinterest, like this DIY Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce. (I’m not yet giving away what I’ll be crafting for gifts this year.)

3. Take the Passion Test. I recently stumbled upon the test in Natural Awakenings magazine while reading this moving article “Fashion a Passion.” The next day, I met with a friend right away to take the Passion Test ourselves. I was surprised by what I discovered after completing the test, and realized the things that are most important to me in life including expressing my creativity (I’m going to get back into my feel-good greeting card business!), taking care of my own health (and others) through massage, weekly yoga and health coaching, and obtaining financial freedom so I can feel comfortable enough to take a vacation, buy expensive organic groceries at Whole Foods, and live the life I want to live.

4. Ditch going out for drinks, and have a good friend over for an eve of homemade cocoa, healthy apps and The Holiday or Love Actually.

5. Remember to say “I love you” every day, even on those tough, pain-in-the-butt, my-life-is-the-worst kinda days. Show your loved ones how much they mean to you every. single. day.

6. Save some money on expensive beauty products, and use what you already have around the house. Did you know organic, unrefined coconut oil works as a great all-natural moisturizer and conditioner, or that turmeric and apple cider vinegar (diluted with filtered water) can help with inflammation and acne when applied topically (or ingested)?

7. Next time you enjoy a cup of hot Yogi tearead your fortunes out loud to your roommate, friend or significant other. It’s incredible how much you can learn from these little pieces of wisdom, like the quote in the photo above. Right now, I’m loving their Skin Detox and Positive Energy.

What are some ways you can simplify your life today to create a happier you?

Rachel Chemerynski is a Health Coach and freelance writer living in Cambridge, MA. She is the founder of Zesty Living, a health counseling business that focuses on helping women reach their individual wellness goals, be it weight loss or stress relief, and ultimately get their "zest" back.  She also blogs over at Healthy Chicks, a website filled with tips on healthy eating, happiness and more. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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